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Altiris Agent and VDI

Created: 01 Apr 2014 • Updated: 15 May 2014 | 8 comments
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does anyone have any documentation or real world case information on having the Altiris agent on a non-persistant client ?

Any issues, workarounds usage etc?


Operating Systems:

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sergei Z's picture


What kind of scenario and operating system do you have in mind? The agent itself can be used in Windows VDI environment in general case, but there could be limitations depending on the configuration and usage scenario. In non-persistant client the agent will not be able to store its state so the usage is limited, for example you can run the tasks but it kind of hard to execute "run once" policies.

Unfortunatelly I'm not aware about any documenttaion regarding the supported scenarios and limitations.

sergei zjaikin, senior principal software engineer, symantec

Igor Perevozchikov's picture

Hi carlsson,

according to support matrix for ITMS 7.x, Altiris Agent is supported as Agent on:



What exact is this "non-persistant client" ?



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carlsson's picture

Hi sorry spelling it's non-persistent

When users access a nonpersistent desktop, none of their settings or data is saved once they log out. At the end of a session, the desktop reverts back to its original state and the user receives a fresh image the next time he logs in

I guess having the agent on could have issues with Inventory ?, as the "fresh image" would be at the original state of the master image, and would therefore want to update inventory, probably leaving them out of inventory policies would work,

would the Guid carry over from the master image and cause duplicate guid issues?, probably because it's a clone.

anyone have any experience they would like to share?



Igor Perevozchikov's picture

Otherwise, only OS image will be reverted back each time after logoff/logon, but MAC address, OS type and hostname will not be changed?

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esepulve's picture

When it came to managing non-persistant VDI images, my biggest concern wasn't the endpoint it was more in the delivery of applications to the user.

If that's the case, you may want to take a look at Symantec Workspace Streaming.

Hope this helps.

HighTower's picture

You would not want to use the Altiris Agent on non-persistent VDIs.  Persistent VDIs, though, you'd want to manage like any other endpoint.

As mentioned application delivery is paramount to a NP VDI.  Symantec Workspace Streaming or Citrix XenApp would be a solution.  You definitely do not want to be doing traditional software installations on the fly.

Lark's picture

I agree with previous comments that there are better tools for VDI but the Symantec Management Agent (Altiris Agent) could still be of some use - assuming you needed it to access your packaged software library.

If your VDI setup includes pre-provisioning of a pool of non-persistent VDI (common for good response speeds for user logons) then you could assume these endpoints were sitting at a logon screen waiting for users and your SMP already knew about them (registered and showing in the console).

From that point, User targeted Software Management Policies that were set to run and install immediately would likely install fairly quickly on user logon depending on package size, connection to a package server etc.

Other CMS solutions would be of little use and you'd probably need to have some sort of special computer object deletion happening on the SMP to ensure you kept your node count under control depending on exactly how your computer naming convention works.  There might also be a licensing issue but you'd best talk to your friendly Symantec salesman about that.

As above there are better solutions out there but this might be enough?

carlsson's picture


All good replies much appreciated